HomeWoman's Voice

Somali Muslim Student Wins Council Election in Belgium

Ismat Jahan: OIC Envoy to EU Mission
Role of Law, Society and Religion
Girl from North-east Appointed NYT Reporter

Leuven (Belgium): Sarah Mohamed Khalif, a 21-year-old Somali Muslim student, created history by winning the council election held last fortnight in Leuven city, east of Brussels in Belgium. Sarah, who is also the first ever Somali woman to take political office in the country, was voted to represent Belgium Socialist Party (SPA) as the newest council member of Leuven city. She garnered 772 votes.
Sarah, a second-year student at Leuven University who is considered hardworking, said her priorities as the new council member, would be to help the youth ‘use their creativity and create space where they can realize their projects.’ Sarah said she was inspired to run for elections by her need to create a change in her community. “I commit myself to the elections because I want to mean something for the community in Leuven, and want to make a difference in the future. Like many others have ever inspired me, I now want to do the same for others,” she said. Khalif joins the increasing number of people of Somali origin to take political posts across the world. Just recently, Leila Ali Elmi made history as the first Somali and East African woman to be voted into the Swedish parliament on a Green Party ticket. She represents the Angered District in Gothenburg, where she was a member of the Angered district council since 2014.
Others are America’s Ilhan Omar, who is hoping to represent Minnesota in the Congress and UK’s Magid Magid, the youngest person to become the mayor of Sheffield. In the same Belgian elections, Congolese-born Belgian Pierre Kompany became the first black mayor of Ganshoren district and in Belgium.